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iPhone 5 rumor roll-up for the week ending Nov. 25

4 inches is big, not malware-proof, irony alert

By , Network World
November 28, 2011 04:05 PM ET
iPhone rumors

Network World - The iOSsphere is now very sure iPhone 5 will have a 4-inch display. They're just not sure who is building it.

In case you were unsure, the Next iPhone will not -- repeat, not -- be malware proof. But you will be able to buy malware-infected apps with its i-wallet and NFC radio.

Finally, a playful Italian designer introduces a real novelty in the iOSsphere: irony.

You read it here second.

"No, we are not recycling the old news just to give them a new spin." -- Main Device, recycling the old news that "iPhone 5 Could Integrate NFC Through an e-Wallet Application."

SCUTTLEBUTT: Lamest and most bizarre iPhone 5 rumors of 2011

It's real: iPhone 5 will have a 4-inch display

They don't call it the WORLD Wide Web for nothing. U.S.-based AppleInsider found a Japanese website that claimed that Hitachi and Sony have teamed up to build 4-inch LCD displays for a "new iOS device" and another LCD for iPad 3. The 4-inch screen is already shipping, according to the citation.

The Hitachi-Sony 4-inch screen rumor comes from a Japanese Mac site, Macotakara.jp. AppleInsider says Macotakara was "citing sources within Apple's Far Eastern supply chain. But according to the English translation with the Macotakara posting, the brief post is based entirely and only on 'an Asian source.'"

Maybe the source is one of those Asian smartphone case makers who is still hoping to recoup the money lost when they invested in building big cases for the big-screened Next Generation iPhone that turned out to be the same-screened iPhone 4S.

To flesh out this rather thin gruel, AppleInsider combined the 4-inch screen rumor with two others, thoroughly confusing the rumor situation because these rumors claim that Sharp is now becoming the main source of LCD screens for future iPad and iPhone models, and neither one refers to the screen size.

One rumor, based on a Wall Street Journal story (with no link) says that Sharp will build LCD panels for the iPad 3 at its central Japan plant. The second rumor says that Apple is investing in Sharp, to support that vendor's new LCD manufacturing process, based on a "modified IGZO" (for indium, gallium, zinc) technology. The source for the latter was an investors' report by stock analyst Peter Misek with Jefferies, following a recent visit to Japan. Misek says the process will yield thinner, high-resolution displays with superior viewing angles, no need for dual-bar LED backlighting, and more efficient power use.

But it was Philip Elmer-DeWitt, editor of Fortune's Apple 2.0 blog, who really went into detail on Misek's report.

Misek claims that Apple has poured from $500 million to $1 billion dollars into Sharp and its new display technologies for future iPhones and iPads "with resolutions, battery life and prices its competitors will be hard-pressed to match," summarized Elmer-DeWitt.

Misek says he believes that production of the new iPad 3 displays started two weeks ago at Sharp's Gen 6 Kameyama plant, which is now entirely devoted to Apple. He says he expects the site will be the source for "the vast majority" of iPad 3 and future "iPhone 5 LTE" screens. "The price at which Apple will be able to procure these panels will be lower than expected as the capital commitment by Apple likely necessitates below market pricing in our view."

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